BSG Cast - Starpollo

Caprica (Mostly)

It's been awhile. At least since last Tuesday. :) I meant to catch up on posting/responding to comments this weekend, but I got sidetracked by other projects as well as crankiness. And now there is more crankiness! I'm counting on White Collar to help alleviate some of that. Don't fail me guys!

Friday night I *finally* watched Caprica. It wasn't rage inducing as I feared it might be. There were some good performances and some intriguing concepts presented. However, I did have issues. I know, you are stunned by this admission! The issues are not severe enough that I won't tune in again this Friday, but I'm unsure if I will stick with it or if I'll care enough to post about it.


The pilot didn't move me to meta, so these are the notes I jotted down as I watched:

- "So Say We All" is tied to the monotheists. That was sort of interesting. I always assumed it was a military chant, but not so much.

- The electronic paper was cool and I hazard to guess Apple is working on that for release in the next few years. But there's an internal logic problem. Caprica takes place 58 years before Battlestar Galactica so why did we never see this cool gizmo in BSG?

- Bill was called Willie as a child. Why? Why couldn't he have been Billy?

- So Daniel Graystone's company has gone a half a billion dollars over budget in the development of CYLON technology and has failed to create a working prototype. Yet his sixteen year old daughter has cracked artificial intelligence - possible even giving her creation a soul - on her home computer. Uh-Huh. This my friends is the one big WTF that will stop me from ever becoming invested as I did before.

- The pilot was too long and too redundant.

- There are no flowers on Tauron? That doesn't seem possible.

- That montage where Graystone and his wife are having sex, inter-cut with Joseph Adama weeping (like father, like son! ;) and the Cigarette Smoking Man getting his throat slit was either a homage to or ripoff of the 'Kobol's Last Gleaming' teaser.

- Caprican teens rebel by converting to monotheism. Seriously?

- OK, I will say, hearing "By your command" for the first time was chilling.


Ultimately, I think my problem with Caprica is it's a prequel. We know how the story ends. We know in 58 years these people will have died or will be facing a gruesome death (unless you are the great Bill Adama). So why should I care?



- I still feel Shaw is Bryce Larkin-lite. Part of me is even suspicious that had Matt Bomer not landed White Collar we'd be seeing Bryce heading up the team. Other than the dead wife and a dislike for guns, the characters are far too similar.

- I don't care what Sarah said, I still don't buy that Bryce is dead. ;p

- Morgan and Casey. I loved that Morgan was promoted to assistant manager, is embracing responsibility and doing a pretty good job. Last week, I didn't think he would go through with what needed to be done, firing Lester, but he did. This week, when he realized he was facing a challenge he couldn't meet on his own he turned to Casey. And, again, I was surprised as Casey agreed to help (I guess the lesson learned is he will take on any insurgency ;), seemed OK with being Morgan's "Ass Man" and even seemed proud to receive a raise for his efforts. I hope we see more Morgan/Casey interaction in the future.

- And was that concern I saw from Casey for Chuck's welfare when he learned the mission was on the plane rather than in Paris?

- OMG, I liked Kristin Kreuk! Maybe it was more Smallville's depiction of Lana and less her? Or maybe it was the new do. Hannah will probably turn out to be evil and Chuck will go back to moping about Sarah, but, in the meantime, I'll enjoy watching what develops.

- Chuck/Sarah - Make it stop! Their angst brings down every single episode. They need to be together or apart, permanently, and as soon as possible.
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So Daniel Graystone's company has gone a half a billion dollars over budget in the development of CYLON technology and has failed to create a working prototype. Yet his sixteen year old daughter has cracked artificial intelligence - possible even giving her creation a soul - on her home computer.
Ha! Seriously. It's not that I wanted a techno-jargony explanation or anything, but... yeah, this high school student working on her own limited resources just CREATED A SELF-AWARE ARTIFICIAL LIFE FORM one day like it ain't no thang, apparently. O_o I dunno if it's just me, but like, isn't *that* the important part of the Cylon story? Shouldn't the whole show have been about her creating that, and not Eric Stoltz futzing around with the metal clanky physical part?

"So Say We All" from the mouths of the baby monotheists bugged me for some inexplicable reason. It's like they keep trying to throw in these references to BSG, even if they're in total opposition to the context those words had on BSG. I did like the Cylon infinite symbol though.
I agree, there should have been more story devoted as to how a bratty teenager who didn't seem to care much about anyone or anything developed a self-aware artificial life form in her spare time. O_o Is she a super genius? Did she have help from those crazy monotheists? Did she hack her father's mainframe or his competitors? Maybe if we had a season of how the CYLON self-awareness came to be created and, in the closing moments of the season finale, we saw that technology downloaded/uploaded into the robotic body it would all be more interesting/make more sense.

The "So say we all" reveal I found interesting, yet also irksome. Maybe because David Eick is trying to sell Caprica as independent of BSG, yet he, Ron and Jane threw in many fan service moments without putting sufficient thought into their inclusion?

And the saying now feels as if it is being made into a generic rallying call. In BSG, Adama used it to motivate the remnants of humanity from just giving up and dying out. But in Caprica it's being used by teens who, we know, have no clue as to the power those words can have.
he electronic paper was cool and I hazard to guess Apple is working on that for release in the next few years.
I want that paper! 'Cept it was sort of big and heck, everyone on the train could read your text.

Caprica takes place 58 years before Battlestar Galactica so why did we never see this cool gizmo in BSG?
They had droids! In Baltar's house! (That was so Baltar's house.) Why didn't Baltar have droids? I feel like some big technology dark age must happen in the next 58 years. But that doesn't entirely make sense. I'm stumped.

This my friends is the one big WTF that will stop me from ever becoming invested as I did before.
Yeah, that's where I got stuck too. I could maybe buy that Daniel invented Centurions that look exactly like the Centurion skulls found later on Earth 1. But Zoe is a freaking genius. Nicole is right. The show should be about her and this being she created. Oh, if only I could trust that the show could be about these two females. But she's already dead and/or in a Centurion.

I don't know. :-/

Edited at 2010-01-26 08:24 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing the paper comes in different sizes. It's probably like shopping for a laptop. Do you want the 17 inch paper or 8 inch? ;p

Baltar probably had a droid, but it pissed him off one day when it allowed a one night stands he was trying to avoid back into the house and he promptly kicked it off the balcony. :D

I did like that the droid had the red eye and was obviously a precursor to what became the Centurion model. And I can rationalize why we didn't see any of those in BSG. I kind of thought it was a more sophisticated version of a Roomba and in all likelihood would not be found on any of the ships that survived the attacks. But the paper? Some people had to be carrying a device like that with them!

The female characters have yet to impress me. This is inn stark contrast to BSG where Laura, Kara and Six immediately stood out.

I guess the 'All this has happened before and will happen again (and again)' can explain Graystone's Cylons looking like the ones found on earth. But, also, humanoid Cylons (Ellen, Sam, Tyrol, etc.) exist and have for a long time so maybe we find out that some of them are living on the Colonies? My head is staring to hurt.....
I'm guessing the paper comes in different sizes. It's probably like shopping for a laptop. Do you want the 17 inch paper or 8 inch? ;p
Hee! Maybe? I want to send letters like that. Or greeting cards. Sekrit!

Baltar probably had a droid, but it pissed him off one day when it allowed a one night stands he was trying to avoid back into the house and he promptly kicked it off the balcony. :D
That was his house, though. Totally. Details like that distract me. :-)

I kind of thought it was a more sophisticated version of a Roomba and in all likelihood would not be found on any of the ships that survived the attacks.
They have droids on all the planets but not on any ships in the fleet? They have FTL drives but no droids? I dunno.

The female characters have yet to impress me. This is inn stark contrast to BSG where Laura, Kara and Six immediately stood out.
True. The idea of Zoe intrigues me but I'm not sure enough to watch the entire show. Besides, she's dead!

But, also, humanoid Cylons (Ellen, Sam, Tyrol, etc.) exist and have for a long time so maybe we find out that some of them are living on the Colonies?
Aren't they on a slow ship to the Twelve Worlds, though? Though they don't need to worry. Zoe invented resurrection! Sorta. I don't know.

My head is staring to hurt.....
Yeah. See . . . I'm don't think I want to watch this one. The more I think about it . . .
They have droids on all the planets but not on any ships in the fleet? They have FTL drives but no droids?

Well, after the first Cylon war the Colonials backed off creating artificial intelligence, so I can accept the production of any sort of robot was curtailed and what robotics there were would be closely monitored.

Aren't they on a slow ship to the Twelve Worlds, though? Though they don't need to worry. Zoe invented resurrection! Sorta. I don't know.

Yeah, Ellen and her merry band are far, far away at this point in time. But that we know of their existence and that an entire Cylon race with their own Centurions exists creates some issues for the Caprica universe. I guess when the humans and Cylons split up after Kobol it's possible that both races, having at one time shared knowledge, would develop similar artificial intelligence and robotics independently. But I also have to wonder if there are Cylons like Ellen who are already on Caprica moving the process along. ::is confused::
I was more interested in the Cylon story than you, but I'm already seeing the potential for the Cylon story in Caprica (and possible retcon it could create in the BSG universe) to be headache inducing. I'll stick with it for awhile longer, but I'll have no problem dropping it if I feel it's messing to much with what I loved about BSG. And my main problem might be focusing too much on the topic of religion - that's what interested me least on BSG.
Oh, did they finally air it on telly and the series itself is starting? I am so uninvested in post-BSG SyFy that I never even watched my copy of The Plan. It's still in the cellophane.

I am curious, though. Did they tone down the gratitious violence/nudity/sex at the beginning?
SyFy's been running the pilot seemingly non-stop. The first episode airs Friday.

There was quite a bit of violence and sex in the opening, but I don't recall any nudity. SyFy seems to draw the line there. After seeing The Plan on DVD, I have to agree with them on that bit of censorship.
Le sigh. I have been reluctant to watch it in general. Please tell me it's only Tricia that's nude. I don't want to see me no nekkid Cavil.
None of the main cast is nude in The plan. We see Tricia in her underwear, but that's as much skin as she shows. All the nude people are either extras or Eddie's wife - though I've seen arguments that they used a body double for her sex scene.
*skipping the Caprica review because I won't see it until this weekend*

Re: Chuck, I was also quite surprised that I liked KK! And though it's far more likely she'll turn out to be one of the bad guys, I must admit I'm 1) hopeful that she'll just be a sweet, lovely character, and 2) amused that she went from one Superman story to a show where another Superman is guest-starring. Wonder if her character and Shaw will have any chemistry... hmmm.

Hmmm....maybe Shaw and Hannah will (quickly) come to realize that Chuck and Sarah are incapable of ever getting over the other so they'll head off into the sunset together to console each other.
I watched Caprica again, too, mostly to try and give it a fair shake with fresh eyes, but I came away from it feeling exactly the same as I did the first time. Also frustrated that I couldn't immediately pick up whatever stuff they supposedly added - must not have been that thrilling. ;)

The logic problem with the electropaper is the same problem that the Star Wars prequels had - yes, George, I know that we're seeing the Republic at the height of its splendor and that once the Empire took control, it makes some sense that the remaining rebels and those on the fringes would only have dilapitated old spacecraft and such to work with because the dictatorship hoards all the good stuff. But there's no need to go completely apeshit with the "Ooh, ah!" And granted, Caprica is nowhere near this level of bullshit - yet - but it is a concern. I hope they don't tip the scales too far toward Lucas territory in subsequent episodes.

I'm less annoyed with Willy vs. Billy than I am with the fact that the young actor in question has very large, adorable BROWN puppy-dog eyes. ;) Yeah, I know, it's a little tough to make a kid wear contact lenses constantly, but after they made a point to establish that in BSG to increase the plausibility that Eddie and Jamie were father and son... I know, nitpicky, but it bothers me. Heh. And actually, while we're at it, I sort of feel as though making Grandpapadama such a huge lynchpin in the birth of the cylons story - dude he HANDED Graystone the tech he needed to successfully complete the project - also starts to stretch the parameters of believability for me. Much more so than, say, the plotline of "Hero" in BSG where we find out Adama was in command on the mission that breached the armistice line - that was a stretch but in the context of that episode, it worked. I'm not saying Caprica shouldn't have included the Adamas at all, I understand why they wanted to tie the characters in this show to BSG somehow, but it does feel very convenient in that - here I go again - Star Wars prequels kind of way. Seems like there must have been some way to include the Adamas and yet place them just a degree or two away from the core plot developments, at least at the beginning... then slowly involve them a bit more as the show progresses.

The immaculate genius of Zoe is really quite unbelievable, true. I could buy it a bit more if they portrayed her as less... well, average. No, I'm not saying she should be a shut-in wallflower with no social skills who avoids other kids and just plays with her gadgets all day... not all geniuses are like that. There's just something quite pedestrian about the way she's written, and in Toressani's performance, that makes me not buy it. (Magda Apanowicz, IMO, is a far better actress.)

I guess you could say that the montage here and the montage in KLG Part 1 are both homages/ripoffs of the Godfather montage, as all epic montages more or less are. ;) But I know what you mean.

Despite knowing how the story ends, there is still the aforementioned potential that I think could make the show interesting for me but mostly it has less to do with the individual characters' story arcs and more with the overall plotlines relating to the different cultures and political structures. We have established the Taurons and their criminal underworld, we already know more or less what Caprica (the planet) is all about. Espenson mentioned a while back that they were working on a script largely set on Scorpia, and I'm damned curious to see what their culture is like. These are the things I find fascinating, the underpinnings of the different colonies' and how they interact, or clash, prior to unification. That's something we didn't get too much of in BSG, outside of the religious quirks of the Gemenese and the Sagittarons and the fact that on Aerilon they're all country bumpkins. ;) I would love to know more... where the show needs to fill the gap, of course, is getting me to care more about the individuals who are navigating this big mess. I cared intensely for ALL the characters on BSG from the get-go, and I'm nowhere near that point with Caprica yet. We'll see if we get there.
I hope they don't tip the scales too far toward Lucas territory in subsequent episodes.

You're bringing up Lucas already?! You're worse than I am! ;p But, yes, you make a good point.

I'm less annoyed with Willy vs. Billy than I am with the fact that the young actor in question has very large, adorable BROWN puppy-dog eyes.

Heh. You paid closer attention than I. Good catch. Maybe Bill underwent a Caprican procedure to alter eye color later in life because he thought the blue helped sell the Adama glare?

Here's another problem with the inclusion of the Adamas. Why is it we never heard about the death of Bill's mother and sister? Yes, it happened when he was a kid and, in general, he never talked much about his family, but the murder of his mother and sister by religious extremists just *may* account for his atheism and his dismissal of Baltar's cult, beyond Baltar being the object of devotion, and was worthy of a mention. And it would have been fascinating to exam on BSG why Adama lacked belief in higher power/powers and put so much faith into military might. I feel as if Moore and Eick are counting on BSG fans to tune in because they have a desire to see blanks filled in (at the same time the two are trying to pitch the series to a new audience that has never seen BSG), yet it's already starting to feel like they are pulling the plot out of their collective asses.

where the show needs to fill the gap, of course, is getting me to care more about the individuals who are navigating this big mess. I cared intensely for ALL the characters on BSG from the get-go, and I'm nowhere near that point with Caprica yet.

I don't know if I cared for them ALL from the get go, but I certainly cared about a lot of them and loved a couple of them. ;) Thus far, I don't care about any of these characters and I'm a little concerned that the ONE female character at the forefront is a bratty (and dead) teenager.
You're bringing up Lucas already?! You're worse than I am! ;p

*giggle* Hey, if I had a more viable option for comparison, I'd use it. But it's so textbook. ;)

Why is it we never heard about the death of Bill's mother and sister? Yes, it happened when he was a kid and, in general, he never talked much about his family, but the murder of his mother and sister by religious extremists just *may* account for his atheism and his dismissal of Baltar's cult, beyond Baltar being the object of devotion, and was worthy of a mention. And it would have been fascinating to exam on BSG why Adama lacked belief in higher power/powers and put so much faith into military might.

That's a wonderful observation, and you're right, it would have been excellent to establish that during the run of BSG and use that as a touchstone for all of Bill's issues you mention. Or see how/if that also influenced Lee's atheism, as it's one of the only traits (at least early in the show) that father and son have in common. I bet you anything it's simply a case of retcon that should have been canon, something that TPTB can look at now and think "Damn, we should have set that up earlier."

I doubt Moore and Eick are inventing all of this on the fly, it's instances just like this that make me wonder if some of it constitutes ideas for back story that they threw around the writer's room but just never managed to work into an episode. (I also have no idea how much is directly coming from them, as they're not the showrunners anymore; I mean, I'm sure they're being consulted and signing off on stuff, but some of it could have originated from Jane and the other writers.)
Hi, Asta! Here are your problems explained (mostly :)):

"So Say We All" is tied to the monotheists. That was sort of interesting. I always assumed it was a military chant, but not so much.

Elosha said it first, so it must be the equivalent of Amen. ALthough it is not exclusively used by religious people in BSG, so it is totally okay to say So say we all for a monotheist too.

Caprica takes place 58 years before Battlestar Galactica so why did we never see this cool gizmo in BSG?

There is an explanation to this. I don't remember anybody telling this on-screen, but it is a fact that Colonials banned high-end technical devices and wireless communications as a whole after the cylon war broke out. Cylons were able the use these devices to infiltrate humanity's defense systems. The Battlestars were built deliberately with old-school technologies. I remember that this info came out well before Caprica was even planned, so it is not a retcon. (Remember the interview with Gaius Baltar in the miniseries)

There are no flowers on Tauron? That doesn't seem possible.

Tauron may be an asteroid or something like that. We will see it soon, I believe.

Bill was called Willie as a child. Why? Why couldn't he have been Billy?

My parents use a nickname nobody else uses for me. It think this is just nitpicking.

"[...]Yet his sixteen year old daughter has cracked artificial intelligence][...]"

This is where suspension of disbelief comes in. I think we accepted lot more things Baltar did.

"Caprican teens rebel by converting to monotheism. Seriously?"

It's the inverse of hippies. Caprican teens live in a greatly liberal system, that's why they turn to conservativism. Teens do that all the time, going in the opposite direction the world does. It think this is not just believable, I think this is a compelling notion.
I forgot Elosha had said it first. So, yes, it must be a more widely used term. I just associate so much with Adama at this point that it seems odd coming from a rebellious teenage cultist.

but it is a fact that Colonials banned high-end technical devices and wireless communications as a whole after the cylon war broke out.

I don't recall that. They did ban research on artificial intelligence, but that wouldn't seem to extend to what are essentially PDAs.

Baltar was a highly educated adult with access to the most powerful computers and research tools prior to the attacks. Zoe, with nothing but a home computer, did what a corporation with research teams and billions of dollars failed to do. That just stretches my suspension of disbelief too far.
I've not watched Caprica, because I really can't be bothered... but I was curious to see what you thought of it.

I'm curious about how "So Say We All" can be tied to the monotheists, given that it was a part of the religious ceremonies performed by Elosha in the future - although Bill Adama seemed to love chanting it, so perhaps there's a retcon coming involving him being a closet monotheist...

I'm not sure quite what you mean by electronic paper, having not watched the show, but I Know there were articles online a few months ago about somebody developing paper that can be electronically printed on, and then refreshed through an electrical charge to become blank again. You're entirely correct about that internal logic, though - after all, Galactica post-dates the era, so you'd expect it to have access to the latest technology.

Have they explained away the daughter as being some sort of Sheldon Cooper level genius? Or is her amazing advance in computing technology simply an incredibly lazy plot device?
Maybe they plan on having the series run four or five years, Teen!Bill will eventually get sucked into a cult, and, although he manages to extricate himself, the saying stays with him?

One of the characters, Zoe, pulls a crumpled piece of paper out which, at first, is blank, but then she taps it or something (I wasn't paying close attention) and graphics appear that are similar to what you would see on a homepage. She then accesses email, types out a message and sends it to her mother. I would think a few people, at least, who survived the attacks would have these. Though I'm not sure how well they would work given the lack of the Colonial equivalent of the internet.

No explanation yet as to Zoe's genius. I hope there is one, but I'm doubting it.